Middle of the road

Spring limped out and summer came on with a charge last week. The crops here at the farm have responded wonderfully, with lots of growth and blossoms popping out to greet the warmth and sunshine and the raspberries and blueberries beginning to show a bit of color. Harvest of the berries will be about a week later on the calendar than most years past, and some crops even two or three weeks later, but there is still hope. Some things have remained difficult for us, with crops like cucumbers, pumpkins and squash going into the soil very late and just barely peeking above the dirt. We can hope for a very warm and very long fall as some of these crops take 90 days or more to mature, taking us into September. We had to do things a little differently this year, and we hope it will all work out.

We can be thankful, however. Thankful for myriad things and situations that make our lives so much better and easier than folks in other parts of the world. We live in relative peace in our nation. Crime occurs and bad things happen, but since the disaster of 9/11, we have become a more secure and wary place, making the day to day lives of our citizens safer and more secure.

We don’t live in a war-torn nation that oppresses its people. We have freedoms that make us the envy of much of the world. We can work hard and make things happen for ourselves. We can reach out our hand and offer those who are struggling a boost. We can march, protest and speak out against injustice and we can work to solve problems that plague our citizens. We can strive to become a better nation and a better people, and we can strive to agree to disagree.

With the presidential race heating up, we can listen to different ideas and different strategies for making the nation a better place. Whether Democrat or Republican, we can hear the ideas of others and choose the candidate that best represents what we think. If he or she does not make it to the White House, we can work to lay groundwork for our ideas and ideals to come to fruition in other ways. But we need to agree to disagree sometimes in order to get things done.

I hope this is what is happening right here in our state as the legislature and the governor work to bring their disagreements about the budget to a compromise that can satisfy both sides of the equation. I understand both thoughts … money enough to cover projects of huge significance to make our lives in New Hampshire better and conservative economic practice that demands sustainability without the necessity for more taxes. There has to be a compromise acceptable to both somewhere in the middle of the road.

Funny thing about the middle of a road. Not so much traffic tramples the wheel-ways and on dirt roads that you can find in some areas, quite often a strip of grass grows between the wheel tracks. That’s what I hope we can find as a nation … that strip of lush grass in the middle. That is where I live in my political thoughts. Quite liberal about some topics, quite conservative about others and right in the center about most. We just celebrated Independence Day here in the nation, and I urge all of you to think about that independence. We declared that an oppressive government had no place on the soil of the United States and that we, the people, could collectively govern ourselves with much more success. Individuals and groups they select to associate themselves will maybe never agree about topics, but we need to work to find that middle of the road, or at the very least, agree to disagree. The grass may be green on the other side, or greener on yours, but the grass in the middle is green, too, and maybe we can meet there.

Like the crops here at the farm, sometimes it is a struggle to survive and thrive. But there is always hope. Never give up, but don’t let your stubbornness dissuade you from compromise, meeting in the middle or trying something a bit different, and don’t put on blinders so you can’t see what is happening on that other side of the road.

Becky Nelson is co-owner of Beaver pond Farm in Newport.

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